Glad to help friends out…

Time Zones
Image by r.rosenberger via Flickr

So I just went to the airport and picked up some friends who got back from vacation.  They’re good people as some people would say.  They shared some of their stories but I wanted to let them rest because they have been traveling almost all day long and they have been in 8 different time zones.

Good Friends are hard to find.  I look look forward to getting more details about their trip later this week.

Wrapping up a weekend of concerts and college homecoming

Otterbein College
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First I want to say, I survived! So this past weekend I had Capital Pride Band concerts Friday night, Sunday afternoon, and the whole day Saturday doing Otterbein University homecoming activities. It was a long weekend! The concerts went well and I’ll be excited to hear the recording. Then Saturday … well lets say there was just to much fun had by some if you know what I mean. So after all that, I’m worn out!

This Wednesday I’m performing in Cleveland with the Blazing River Freedom band. They are doing their fall concert Wednesday October 27, 2010 at 8 PM. The show has a musical theme. So I’ll drive up there to perform in the fantastic Franklin Circle Christian Church. The church has beautiful old architecture.  I enjoy performing there in the huge sanctuary.

A scary thing just crossed my mind … believe it or not we’re headed towards Christmas at an alarming rate.  We’re 2 months away from Christmas!  Lucky for me I’ve already started my Christmas shopping!

I better start working on my list of 2011 new years resolutions.

Hate Crimes in Gorgia by military personel are brushed under rug

I’m going to go off the deep end here so stand back.  In June, 26-year-old Kieran Daly was attacked in Savannah by 2 marines at 4 am.  They say it was because he winked at them.  Recently it was reported that the charges have been all but dropped.  Cpl. Keil Joseph Cronauer is not going to be charged with the attack.  He might be charge with disorderly conduct charge.  While Cpl. Christopher Charles Stanzel could be ch

arged with a misdemeanor for punching Kieran Daly.  Oh and he might get less than a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,200.  It’s one of those situations where the lack of equality for gay people is obvious.  If you asked me (which you didn’t) if this had been a race related attack, the people of Georgia would have been up in arms.  It wasn’t though; it was an attack on a Caucasian by a Caucasian.

They know that the one of the young men yelled out gay slurs but yet the act of punching Kieran in the back of the head as he walked away doesn’t contain “proof of a sustained injury.”  So knocking someone unconscious so that they suffer two seizures isn’t injury?  I personally can’t imagine how the District Attorney in Chatham County can let this go.  I equate this to saying if someone is shot and they survive that it is not a sustained injury.  I mean they survived, right?  Then Alicia Johnson, District Attorney Spokeswoman, stands up in front of people to report this to the public.  I can only imagine that putting a woman out front was a political move so it didn’t look so cruel.  I sure hope she is paid well.  Can you imagine the amount of hate mail that must be going to that District Attorney’s office?  Actually I should say I hope there is a huge amount of mail going to the district attorney’s office as well as other state officials expressing the public’s disgust with this decision.

Now there is a reported incident which doesn’t make Kieran look like the most innocent of people.  It has something to do with a truck driver and Kieran yelling racial slurs.  The fact remains that Christopher Stanzel punched Kieran in the back of the head to the point that it knocked him conscienceless.  In most cases that would be at least assault and battery I would think.  Of course I’m not a lawyer so what do I know.

So how is it that two men in their early 20’s can attack someone for “winking” at them and the law which is there to protect people just turn a blind eye?  Let us think about this:

  1. It happened in Georgia
  2. The two men are in the military (Marines)
  3. Kieran Daly is gay

Georgia is only one of five states not to have a hate crime law.  So in this situation it would have been the federal government’s Mathew Shepard law used if any justice would have been served.  There has not been a charge of a hate crime raised in Georgia since 2004.  I’m thinking that’s not a very accurate number.  It makes me wonder how many other hate crimes have been brushed under the rug.

It is reported that Kieran Daly only came out of the closet 6 months before the attack.  So now he’s already scared mentally in regards to who he is everyday.  That doesn’t even take into account how he’s always going to be looking over his shoulder.  In our country we (homosexuals) fight for equality every day.  The United States is one of the major super powers yet other countries that would be considered a third world country have already surpassed the United States in creating equality for homosexuals.

Every day “Christians” go about saying that legalizing marriage for homosexuals will disgrace the sanctity of marriage.  These kinds of actions and statements reinforce the hate demonstrated in Kieran Daly’s story.  We can see how easily this hate becomes physical violence in Kieran Daly’s attack.  Tell me how is this christianly?  I thought Jesus taught love.  Oh there was also that whole ‘not passing judgment’ piece too.  This ranks up there with other events in history in the name of religion.

  • The crusades to cleanse the world of savages
  • The persecution of different religious beliefs which lead to people traveling to the new world
  • The enslavement of Africans and Indians because they were savages
  • World War I

In each of these examples a religious cause or theme comes forward.  Ironically this country wasn’t founded by what most people today would consider Christians.  Then again people believe that Jesus, who was born in the Middle East, is Caucasian.  We think that converting people to Christianity is going to fix everything.  People in the United States can’t even agree on one denomination.  Yet from the stand point of many people Christianity just creates hate and intolerance.  Where in the bible did Jesus teach this or say that God wanted us to covert the earth’s population.  That sounds more like the Borg from Star Trek if you ask me.

With approximately $30,000 in unpaid medical bills I would like to think that gays all over the country would come together to help Kieran.  The gay community spends more than $30,000 on parties so raising the money would be an easy challenge.  As I’ve searched the internet I can’t seem to find any mention of a fund to help pay for Kieran’s medical bills.

For more information check out the links below:

Did you “Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed”

Michael Quinion, etymologist and owner of the ...
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Well I know I have that’s for sure.  So I thought I would look up the origin of this phrase.  It turns out this is a pretty ancient concept or phrase.  It is a belief that getting out of bed with the left leg touching the floor first or side was bad luck.  People believed that the left side of things was sinister.  This belief goes all the way back to the romans.  Augustus Caesar was cautious when getting out of bed, making sure it was on the right side.  If by chance you did get out of bed with your left leg first it was sad “you got out of bed the wrong way,” or “you got out of bed with the left leg foremost.”  There are several different spins on this phrase.  For example, author Michael Quinion thinks the first was “wrong side of the blanket” for a child born illegitimately.  Mr. Quinion also gave the examples of “getting on the wrong side of somebody,” “the wrong side of the law,” “laughing on the wrong side of one’s mouth,” and “on the wrong side of forty” (or almost any age).  I also found a superstition that it was unlucky to put your left shoe on first or how stepping into a house on your left foot was unlucky. Boy talk about having it rough in the morning.  I don’t think about anything when I get out of the bed.

So tomorrow maybe I’ll think twice before getting out of bed and see if I can get my right foot on the floor first.  That would require me to rearrange my bedroom but hey if I am in a good mood then it will all be worth it.

Just a Football Saturday in the Midwest

Ohio State Buckeyes athletic logo
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Just a Saturday you say?  Well I have been working on some stuff for my College Fraternity Alumni group and hanging out at home listening to music.  Of course if I was out and about today I would see that my neighborhood is over run with Ohio State University fans.  I’m not even sure who they play today but since I live so close to the university the streets are always crowded with fans.  It makes for great people watching but it can be frustrating as you can imagine.  Our street is overrun with people parking and walking to the game.  So you don’t dare move your car before the game till during the game so that you don’t lose your parking spot if you plan on coming back.

So I guess it’s just a normal Saturday here in my neighborhood.  That’s good seeing as there could be far worse things besides huge crowds of OSU fans.

Fall is comming!

Fall folliage at Indian Lake.
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Well the weather has turned a little chilly the last couple days.  It’s amazing how in just a matter of 24 hours the weather here in Ohio can change from 90 degrees to mid 70’s.  Over the weekend a friend and I were discussing how you can even see the leaves changing on the trees.  Of course we didn’t think that was due to cold weather but rather the lack of rain.

You know one thing about fall that I could live with out and the people here in Columbus would gasp at this statement.  Football is the one thing I could live without.  I played in marching band for nine years and you know I never learned the game and really never cared to understand it.  I found all that time I spent doing marching band as social time as I hung out with “the girls” and I never really paid attention to the game.

So with fall fast approaching the leaves on the trees will be changing and the air will have a crisp edge to it.  The nights will be cool and the days will be moderately warm or cool.  It’s also a great time to find festivals in Ohio.  One coming up in particular would be the Pumpkin Show in Circleville, Ohio.  It’s always a well attended festival here in central Ohio.  They have parades every evening and all the festival food you could want.  Thursday is a big draw for all the band people as they have the parade of bands that night.  I’m not even sure how many bands take part in that one night there are so many.

Of course fall also brings Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Those are nice.  They are both fun holidays.  I’ve never done a lot on Halloween but I think that’s something I should change.  I always have my Mardi Gras costume I could break out.  I would look like a young Bea Arthur.  Now there is a mental picture I bet most people didn’t have till now.  That is an idea, I’ll have to put more thought into it because walking in the heels that I have are murder not to mention dangerous.

Wow all that came out of the weather … Strange what affects the weather can have on us.

Holiday Weekend Trip

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylv...
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Well I had a great time this weekend hanging out with my friends over in Pittsburgh.  I mean it’s always a good time when you can hang out with your friends and laugh about silly things.  On the other hand we didn’t find Pittsburgh entertaining at all.  Our hotel was acceptable but it was out in the suburbs and not a nice suburb and the staff at the hotel were not good.

The restaurants were OK but not good enough to go back to Pittsburgh.  We did find that people must really love Olive Garden on this trip.  Every time we asked about a restaurant someone would tell us about an Olive Garden.  Now don’t get me wrong Olive Garden is OK but I’m a firm believer and supporter of local restaurants (so are my friends).  So we had to laugh when people kept telling us about Olive Garden.

We went to the Warhol Museum and that was nice. It’s a 7 story building in the downtown area of Pittsburgh, next to the baseball field.  There was lots of displays and the several different mediums so it wasn’t all looking at art hanging on the wall.  At one point while we were walking through the museum when the silence was interrupted by someones cell phone ringing.  We had a good laugh at that must because it was a Lady Gaga ring tone.

OH and let me tell you about our visit to Shadyside (a neighborhood in Pittsburgh).  We made our way over there Sunday afternoon after our visit to the Warhol museum.  We had to drive through a rough section of town which wasn’t all that interesting but then we finally got over there and it was one of those you cross the tracks into a different worlds scenarios.  The neighborhood was very nice and it was nice once we found a parking space so we could walk around.  So we hadn’t had lunch yet so we find a restaurant, call them and get directions.  It’s only a couple blocks she says.  So we start walking, and we’re walking for more than three blocks.  Finally we ask someone if they are familiar with the restaurant.  The young woman says “Yes” and so we ask her for directions.  She tells us that the restaurant is about three blocks away in the direction we came from.  So we head back and we walk for probably ten blocks.  We’re thinking that we’re never going to get there and see a young man walking down the street towards us so we stop and ask him about the street that we hoped we had walked towards.  He says we’re almost there and thankfully he was right.  So we start down the street looking for the restaurant and we come along it after a couple large blocks.  We walk in and guess what we find out.  The restaurant stops serving brunch at 2:30 and the time was 2:28 so they wouldn’t serve us.  You talk about some unhappy gay men.  We ask for some suggested restaurants since we have no clue where to eat at this point.  They tell us there’s a bar across the street that serves food 24 hours a day.  So after all that walking we eat in a bar.  Thankfully the food was good.

So that’s just a little about my trip to Pittsburgh this past weekend.  If it doesn’t seem exciting that’s because it wasn’t.  We tried but alas there was no excitement that we could find.

Mondays are such a drag

happy monday blues
Image by uteart via Flickr

So I successfully made it through another Monday.  I tell you they sure can be a drag.  You’ve just finished having two nice days off work and the wham, it smacks you right in the face.  I mean who ever thought of this whole Monday concept?  It’s just a harsh reality but man oh man look out next Monday because it’s Labor day so no work for those of us pencil pushers!

Next Monday I should be starting my day over in Pittsburgh and then having a fun filled drive back home to Columbus, Ohio.  I’m looking forward to this three day weekend and hanging out with three of my friends in Pittsburgh.  I love road trips like this with friends.  I’m sure it will be a fantastic time and we’ll come back with some funny stories.  If you’re lucky maybe I’ll have some pictures too.

I hear that keeping a diary helps a person.

So I thought I would give this a try.  Who knows if it will help or if people will even find me out here in cyberspace.  I love technology and I thought this would give me a way to do two things at once.  It helps me learn some new technology and lets me spill my guts.  I mean what could be more perfect, right?

So I live in Columbus, Ohio and I’ve lived here pretty much all my life.  I grew up outside of Columbus on a small farm.  It was difficult for a young gay guy to grow up out there but I made do.  I wasn’t well liked and I didn’t have many friends but somehow I had the drive to go on to college and make a better life for myself.  Some of my friends who know where I’ve come from have been amazed at how far in life I’ve come.  There wasn’t any encouragement to go on to college or to follow my love of music.  My parents would have been happy if I would have become a mechanic or even a ditch digger.  I made a choice to become something different or more.  I really made something of nothing.

A few years ago I was offered a job in New Orleans.  I had been asking for a promotion so I could hardly turn it down.  The decision to accept that job ended a three-year relationship.  That was a good thing because it was a relationship that would not withstand the ages.  I was not able to make the emotional connection that I needed and I was starting to become angry and unhappy.  So I accepted the job and picked myself up and moved down to New Orleans.  While there in New Orleans I made some great friends and experienced a who new city.  People were amazed at how easily I made friends and became familiar with New Orleans.

I was extremely lucky to make a friend for life shortly after I moved to New Orleans.  His name was Bob and it was like finding a sister that I had never had.  He was from New Orleans so he knew everything about everything.  He know all the good places to go and things to do almost every weekend.

As I had lived all my life in the Ohio until I moved to New Orleans it was culture shock to say the least.  I did like everything that the city had to offer.  There was amazing art, music, and food.  There were opportunities to experience these things all the time.  Rarely was there a weekend that you couldn’t find one of these things to do.  The people sometimes drove me crazy because it was a different personality than I had ever experienced before.  I tried to just accept it and move forward but it was tough.

After about a year and a half after moving to New Orleans there was another job opening that I thought would be great for my career.  It was a job in the IT department and after spending approximately $20,000 at DeVry University on a second bachelors degree I thought it would be nice to use that education.  So after being offered the job, I accepted the position and moved back to Columbus, Ohio.

After moving back to Columbus I found that it was difficult to reconnect with old friends.  Of course I had been in a relationship before leaving Columbus and so I didn’t have as many close friends as I might have once had.  So over the last 2 years I’ve tried to reconnect with old friends and make new friends.  I found it difficult to say the least.  At the same time I was single and “on the market” again.  Being back in Columbus brought up some old feelings and presented some old problems.  I had always found people here in Columbus difficult to connect with and here I found myself back in the same ole boat.  I was trying to make friends in an environment that I found to be snobbish.

I was able to connect with some old friends and make a few friends.  Sometimes I think it’s good to not have to many friend.  I think true friendship is something rare in life.  To call someone a friend is to have someone who will be there through thick or thin and sometimes considers you family.  Friendships are something I try to value.  I started sending hand written notes to out of town friends a couple months ago to strengthen that bond.  Friendship is something to cherish and I hope that people know that I cherish their friendship.

So now I wonder where life will take me next.  I’m open to new challenges and experiences and I do have a couple things in mind but I’ll save those for another time.  Right now I should get out and enjoy the sun not to mention contacting one of those friends about going out for a drink.